BizStarts launching startup space

BizStarts Milwaukee, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs develop their companies, has announced it will open a startup resource center at Schlitz Park, called BizForge.


The space, in the organization’s new 5,000-square-foot office in the RiverCenter building, will bring entrepreneurs and business leaders from several disciplines together in a collaborative atmosphere.

Coaching, programming and other resources will be available to companies to help them launch and grow.

“This region will now have a one-stop resource center where our intellectual horsepower and expertise in industry, academia and government can be brought together to accelerate southeast Wisconsin’s startup economy,” said Dan Steininger, president of BizStarts.

BizForge will include: an academic resource office, with assistance on business plans, product and market assessments, technology and more from regional academic institution experts; a money, management and operations office, with assistance regarding capital from staffing and accounting firms, law offices, lenders, service providers and potential investors; a deal room, in which startups can pitch potential investors and resource providers; and the BizForge Open Canvas, a 750-square-foot multi-use room for classes, events, meetings, product demonstrations and other needs.

BizStarts will announce the partnerships it has formed for the space in the near future.

A grand opening will be held April 2 with remarks from Gov. Scott Walker, Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Secretary Reed Hall, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Gale Klappa, chief executive officer of We Energies. A public open house will be held on April 10, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

“Going forward, BizStarts will expand its mission beyond potential ‘gazelles,’ or high-growth companies, to also help small- to medium-sized businesses across a variety of industries,” said Jon Anne Willow, BizStarts’ entrepreneurship director. “Companies that create 10, 20, 50 or even 100 jobs are the backbone of our economy and the number one contributor to new jobs nationwide.”

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